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Highlights of the September 2021 Labor Force Survey

a. The country’s unemployed persons picked up from 3.88 million in August 2021 to 4.25 million resulting to an unemployment rate of 8.9 percent.  This unemployment rate was the highest since January 2021. (Table A)

b. The labor force participation rate (LFPR) in September 2021 slightly dropped to 63.3 percent from 63.6 percent in August 2021. The drop in LFPR is equivalent to a magnitude of about 269 thousand Filipinos 15 years old and over who were either employed or unemployed. (Table A)

c. Employment rate in September 2021 dropped to 91.1 percent from the 91.9 percent reported in August 2021. This translated to a reduction of 642 thousand employed individuals from the 44.23 million total employed in August 2021 to 43.59 million total number employed in the month of September 2021. (Table A)

d. Employed persons who worked for 40 hours and more were reported at 63.6 percent of the 43.59 million total employed, 34.9 percent worked for less than 40 hours and those reported with job but not at work were accounted at 1.5 percent in September 2021. (Table 2)

e. The average weekly hours worked by an employed person in September 2021 was reported at 40.2 hours per week. This was higher than the average weekly hours worked reported in August 2021 at 39.6 hours. (Tables A and 2) 

f. Underemployment rate was estimated at 14.2 percent this September 2021 accounting for 6.18 million underemployed persons out of 43.59 million employed persons. This is the second lowest reported this year following the 12.3 percent underemployment rate in May 2021. The same underemployment rate of 14.2 percent was reported in June 2021.  (Table A)

Visible underemployment rate was registered at 10.1 percent translating to 4.42 million visibly underemployed Filipinos. In August 2021, visible underemployment rate was reported at 10.4 percent. (Tables A and 3)

Visibly underemployed persons are those working less than 40 hours in a week and expressed the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or to have additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours.

On the other hand, invisibly underemployed or those working at least 40 hours in a week but still expressed the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or to have additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours, was estimated at 4.1 percent of the total employed individuals. In August 2021, this was registered at 4.2 percent. (Table A)

g. By broad industry group, the services sector consistently remained as the dominant employment hub absorbing 57.8 percent of the total employed population in September 2021. The agriculture and the industry sectors contributed 23.5 percent and 18.7 percent, respectively. (Table 1)

On a month-on-month change in the number of employed persons, the top five subsectors that showed biggest increase in employment from August to September 2021 were the following:

a. Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (353 thousand);
b. Public administration and defense; compulsory social
security (118 thousand);
c. Education (115 thousand);
d. Construction (105 thousand); and
e. Administrative and support service activities (89 thousand).
(Tables B and 2)

On the contrary, the following were the top five subsectors with the biggest drop in the number of employed persons from August to September 2021:

a. Agriculture and forestry (-862 thousand);
b. Manufacturing (-343 thousand);
c. Information and communication (-126 thousand);
d. Mining and Quarrying (-75 thousand); and
e. Real estate activities (-69 thousand).
(Tables B and 2)

h. Among men and women, LFPR in September 2021 was higher for men (75.5%) than for women (51.1%). Similarly, employment rate was higher among men at 91.7 percent than among women at 90.3 percent. Underemployment rate among men (15.9%) was also higher than among women (11.7%). (Table D)

i. Youth LFPR dropped to 35.8 percent in September 2021 from 37.8 percent in August 2021. Youth employment rate was down to 82.3 percent in September 2021, from 84.0 percent in August 2021. Moreover, youth underemployment rate was slightly lower at 12.8 percent than the August 2021 estimate of 12.9 percent. (Table A)

j. Employed youth (15-24 years old) worked 37.7 hours per week on average in September 2021 while it was 36.4 hours per week in August 2021. (Table A)


National Statistician and Civil Registrar General




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